I’m in the initial stages of planning my 2019 Storm Chasing season. It’s been a long time since I was last active as a storm chaser; four years, in fact. 2014 was a rough year, we’d just lost Tim and Paul Samaras and Carl Young in the community the summer before and there was a lot of strife and discord amongst storm chasers and television news stations. But drama wasn’t the only thing that kept me from chasing the following years, a lot had changed in my personal life as well. I had not only lost interest, but also my passion for storm chasing. But, over the years my love for weather remained and would later prove to be the spark that has reignited for me the passion I once had, and the reminder as to why I ever chased in the first place.
This year, I’ve decided to get back into it, but on a much more reserved scale. I have a great job, but it’s not always generous in giving me time off- so I will only be able to chase on days when I can get time off. Thanks to the generosity of a fellow chaser and close friend, I was able to replace my ailing 1992 Ford Bronco with a newer more reliable and storm chaser friendly vehicle (gone are the days of my old Suburban 😔 ).
This year I have a dark blue 2007 Saturn Ion. It’s built on the Chevrolet Cobalt platform, a popular choice amongst chasers. It’s nimble, great on gas, and has a low profile. But, it does have front wheel drive and only weighs a little more than a ton. Nevertheless, it’s a great vehicle for the job. I’ve not yet decided whether I will resurrect the mobile mesonet this year. I’ve lost the anemometer propeller, and the temperature probe is missing. But if I do, I’ll have to find a roof rack to mount it, and build out a transceiver mount for the 6 foot antenna. Otherwise, I’ll just stick with a simple cellular setup and an iPad.